Emma Clarendon selects some of her favourite children’s books that have been adapted for the big screen…
Paddington by Michael Bond: one of the most beloved bears to be created became a film star back in 2014, it tells the story of how Paddington became part of the Brown family and is a firm favourite for children discovering his story for the first time or adults who grew up reading the stories it is fun for those of all ages! Bond wrote a number of books about the bear including: A Bear Called Paddington, Paddington Goes to Town and Paddington at Large with more than 35 million books having been sold around the world.
Mary Poppins by P.L Travers: while I have never actually read the books, the film (which is well known as not having made a favourable impression on P.L Travers) is such a joy to watch, with great memorable songs by the Sherman brothers a fabulous Oscar winning performance from Julie Andrews the film has plenty of magic and I loved the way it combined live action with animation. Yes, while it takes fragments of each of the eight books to create one film it feels seamlessly put together.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S Lewis: I have a beautiful illustrated copy of this magical adventure book, that is a wonderful coming of age story set against a backdrop of war that is filled with plenty of magic that is memorable and imaginative from start to finish. Meanwhile, the film itself really captures the spirit of the book and feels extremely faithful to the source material.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: while on the surface, the story is a bit flimsy and bizarre, there is something still incredible about the world that the author created and which is brought so memorably to life in the classic 1939 film. The scene in which it transforms from black and white to colour is still dazzling and impressively effective, while all of the characters were brought memorably to life by all of the cast. This is a film has stood the test of time.
Matilda by Roald Dahl: as a child, I was exactly like Matilda (well except for the talent for maths and the magic powers) particularly when it came to a love of reading. While if I was nitpicking about the differences from the book to the 1996 film, I can’t deny it is still one of my favourite children’s films to return to time and time again – thanks to the stellar performances from all of the cast.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton: published in 1952, this charming story follows a family of tiny people who live secretly in the walls and floors of an English house who “borrow”from big people to survive. There were five books published, with each featuring a whole new adventure for the Clock family. The 1997 film makes many changes to the plot and is quite a blend of American and British approach to the story which can be confusing – but it is still plenty of fun thanks to the great sense of humour and fun approach to the story it takes.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling: growing up I found a lot of comfort in reading the Harry Potter series and the films gave me and of course millions of others a new way to see our favourite characters come to life. While film makers did a great job of bringing each book to life, I feel like the first film felt the most authentic to the book in terms of bringing certain events in the book to life – such as the way in which Harry discovers he is a wizard, the giant chess game and of course the encounter with the troll. It remains my favourite one of the series.
By Emma Clarendon